Jan 19 , 2021
Why Did French Fries Become a Staple Side Dish?
French fries, chips, Pommes Frites — whatever you call them, people all across the world cannot get enough.
Enjoyed by all, french fries are hot, tasty, and crisp and instantly complete any meal. The french fry is the perfect blank canvas to be devoured with sauces, toppings, and other accompaniments. They pair perfectly with any sandwich, hamburger, hotdog, and steak — they can even be enjoyed alone, dressed up or down. They can be ordered at fast-food restaurants, diners, and even upscale eateries. It's no wonder that this incredibly diverse dish became a staple in countless countries.
But how did it become a worldwide staple? Continue reading to find out.
Where Did French Fries Originate?
The well-loved potato is a New World delicacy, a product of the Andes mountains, and a staple of the tribes of the area. After the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 16th century, many Europeans took potatoes back to their country of origin and created the french fry as we know it from there. The french fry's exact origin is unknown, and many claim to have been the first one. But, the modern-day method of double frying potatoes likely started in Belgium and extended from there. The french fry, or the Pommes Frites, are considered to be more "Belgian" than even the waffle — so much so there is a museum dedicated to the side dish.
Where Did the Name "French Fries" Come From?
Some say the term "french fry" came to be because fries supposedly originated in France. While others say the name was born from the culinary word "to french," which means to cut into long, thin strips. This method of cutting is also called french cut or julienning, but "Julienned Fries" doesn't quite have the same ring.
Why is the French Fry Such a Staple?
As we said, the fact that the french fry is such a staple, not only in food in the United States but also in cuisines from all over the world, is not a surprise. Fries truly are the perfect sides to many dishes, and their salty, savory taste is the cherry on top, the perfect finishing piece to your meal.
Ways to Enjoy the French Fry
There are countless ways one can eat the french fry, and, really, the sky's the limit. There is no right or wrong way to indulge, but here are a few common ways people enjoy the french fry:
- Salted and paired with a sauce, such as ketchup, mayo, fry sauce, or ranch
- Cut into different shapes like wedges, chips, steak, waffles, or crinkles
- Topped with cheese, chili, or gravy
- Tossed in different types of seasonings, like various herbs or cajun seasoning
- Fries made from sweet potatoes
Baked instead of fried